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A Message from the Canada Council Chair

February 4, 2014

Kung Hei Fat Choi! On behalf of the members of the AFP Canadian Council, I extend my best wishes for the New Years beginning on both the 1st of January and the 31st of January. The AFP Canadian Council has a number of goals to look forward to as the year unfolds.

Welcome to two new members of the Council: Laura Mikuska of Winnipeg, MB, and Jackie Smith of White Rock, BC. I would also like to extend a warm welcome back to Andrea McManus, CFRE of Calgary, AB, to the role of chair of the Government Relations (GR) Committee. Andrea has already represented AFP and Canada through many different activities. We are fortunate that she wants to continue to be actively involved with our work in Canada. I am also delighted to announce that Karen Dackiw, CFRE, of Regina, SK, has been elected vice chair of the Council and will be directly steering this year’s new strategic plan process.

I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Karen Willson, CFRE of Toronto for her service and leadership during her two-year term as chair of the Government Relations Committee. Karen is now our representative on the Committee on Directorship. Thanks also to Ron Bailey, CFRE of Winnipeg for his years of service on the Council who will now be serving on the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada. Last, but definitely not least, is Vivian Ann Smith, CFRE of Langley, BC, who chaired the Council for two years and is now our District B representative on the AFP International Board. Thank you Vivian, Ron and Karen for your dedication to AFP—it has been a privilege working with you.

As the International Conference on Fundraising approaches at the end of March in San Antonio, the Council is excited to announce that we have been working on a new AFP International website tab just for Canada. This new online resource will collect all relevant news items related to Canada. A new blog will be available for Canadian discussions, direct links will be provided to all Chapter websites and Council, Foundation and GR activities will be segmented into their own areas so the large amount of work being done is known by a larger audience.

This initiative is the result of feedback that many members have found it difficult to pinpoint Canadian-related items on the international website. Thank you for your patience and persistence as we work to complete this project. A final note on the website is that the overall site will be undergoing an enhancement as well this year.

We have been working through our AFP Strategic Plan in Canada, including goals in seven distinct areas. Highlights of our progress:

  • The new tool kit for chapters to assist with their government relations activities and messaging to the community is ready for release.
  • The GR Committee continues to advocate for the charitable sector and represents the AFP membership in its work with the federal government.
  • Furthering a registry of all educational opportunities in Canada for fund development and related activities.
  • Developing the new web tab on the international website.
  • Advancing diversity through the work of our colleagues in the Ottawa and Greater Toronto Chapters.
  • Supporting the international community with our new International Welcoming Guide. (
  • Preparing for the future with collegiate chapter development and supporting our young professionals.

These initiatives are the result of goals identified by AFP leaders from across Canada. The new strategic plan (being unveiled in San Antonio in March) will be integrated with our current plan and then built forward with the new goals as they apply to Canada and our nearly 3,500 members.

For those attending the International Conference on Fundraising in San Antonio, March 23-25, please remember that the most-popular and sought-after event is our own Red and White Reception on Sunday, March 23 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Marriott Rivercenter.  Join us and meet your friends from across Canada, as well as our sponsors who make the event possible.

We have a number of new AFP Chapters in the development phase, and we welcome them to our network of professionals across our country. Our newest and almost chartered is the AFP Okanagan Chapter, which is already hosting member events in the interior of British Columbia. Thanks to Chantelle Funk for leading the organizing work in Kelowna, Vernon and Kamloops!

  • There is also a group in the Lakes District of Ontario that are in the early stages of organizing.  Thanks to Lisa Kilby, CFRE and Nicole McCahon, CFRE from Orillia, Ontario for their support in this area north of Toronto.
  • In Central Alberta, Corrie Fortner is organizing her local colleagues to charter a new chapter based in Red Deer.
  • There is a group working in New Brunswick to charter a new chapter in the Maritimes.  Sheree Allison, CFRE and Ken Mainville have been very supportive and I thank them for their hard work.

This year a small task force will undertake a review of the mandate of the AFP Canadian Council, revisiting the structure of AFP in Canada and asking how we can provide the best services and benefits to our members. I will be inviting a small group of senior members of the Canadian membership to assist in evaluating our future direction. With the new strategic plan for both international and ourselves being developed, now is the perfect time to ensure we are aligning  our goals with the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada, as well as the GR committee, so that we continue to work collaboratively to advance philanthropy in Canada.

2014 is going to be a fantastic year for AFP in Canada! Thank you for your involvement in AFP and all of your work in advancing ethical fundraising.

If you have any comments or interest in serving on the many activities that we undertake, please contact me directly at or Cynthia Quigley, Director of AFP Canadian Services at 

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